There is still time to enter the ATV Network Coronation Street DVD give-a-way. In three hours the entries will be printed out and two lucky winners shall be receiving the brand new exclusive to DVD Romanian Holiday featuring three of your favourite Corrie characters. To put you in the mood for the adventures of Roy, Hayley and Becky we chat with the last of the cast, Katherine Kelly.
Romanian Holiday sees Becky return to the Croppers’ family nest for a brief period – was that nice to play out that relationship again?
The Croppers were the making of Becky and without them I actually don’t think Becky would still be in the show. The Croppers, especially Roy, were the thing that really turned public opinion (about Becky) around to being positive. And that was really organic – it wasn’t like a ‘big plan’ because it was a relationship that blossomed slowly…the writers have seen it and we’ve enjoyed it and it feels like a really special thing. It was so much fun for me to be ‘back’ with the Croppers – they bring out a different side to Becky. To go from all the trials and tribulations of Becky now being a stepmother to Amy and having to deal with the Macdonald family, it was so much fun to revisit the naughty, carefree side of Becky. She descended in age again – it is literally like she’s a child going on holiday with her parents! And, for us, the Romanian holiday just cements everything even more. It’s brought a tighter relationship back. Becky now knows another side to Roy and Hayley: she’s certainly seen the inner party animal in Hayley! Becky and Hayley are good fun together, whereas Roy is definitely a father figure. Hayley is more of a best friend than a mother figure…it’s like when you feel your dad has got a bit boring with old age but your mum still wants to go out! Hayley loves to dress up and sing Waterloo – she just doesn’t realise it!
I love working with Julie and David – it’s been such a long time since I’ve spent time [filming] with them. They are probably my dearest friends at Coronation Street but, because Julie has a young family and David lives in London, we don’t really spend that much time out of work together. It was so nice on a personal level to go out for meals and not have to rush off anywhere.
How was your experience of filming in Romania?
I loved it. I was so busy at Corrie before we went, filming all the wedding stuff, I literally finished at 1 o’clock at work and then had to get the 5 o’clock flight out to Romania – I couldn’t wait to get on the plane because it had been the busiest I had ever been in my life. Becky had the same luggage she would have left for her honeymoon with so I had to take it with me. I had a bag of Becky’s clothes and a bag of my own clothes. When I got there my luggage went missing: I couldn’t believe it. My phone battery was dying and the car was waiting and there were six of us waiting for about an hour for our luggage.
The director Ian Bevitt rang me saying ‘we’re so sorry, what a nightmare, we’ll take you shopping as soon as you get here’ and I thought ‘what a lovely man’. But when I said ‘you know that it’s just my luggage that’s gone missing – Becky’s luggage has arrived’, he was like ‘oh that’s alright then!’ So I spent the next two days in Becky’s costumes, which was awful – after you’ve got off a flight the last thing you want to be wearing is your character’s costume. It actually worked though because the scenes we were shooting (in the first few days) were all the scenes when Becky is hungover from a big night out, so it was quite ‘method’! My luggage arrived two days later and I was so happy to see it. But it’s such a beautiful place and we had such a great crew I couldn’t really complain about a bit of luggage going missing. I was just really happy to be there. It’s really flattering to be offered a DVD because Coronation Street has such a big cast.
One of the first news stories I really remember was when they exposed all the Romanian orphanages. I was about nine and I remember the visions of the children chained to the cots and begging my mum to let them stay at our house. So that was the first thing I used to think of when I thought of Romania. But I loved being there. It’s so beautiful – such nice people and beautiful countryside. I’m glad we went because, like David (Neilson) said, I don’t think I would particularly chose to go there unless I was doing a European tour or something like that. I would really recommend it now.
It was definitely in my top ten funniest times filming as an actress. The thing that really blew me away was the Romanian actors. Becky has a running theme where she makes lots of friends – she’d make friends wherever she went, I’m 100% sure of that – so a lot of my scenes were with Romanian extras. And they were absolutely brilliant. When people come into Corrie for a scene or an episode they can sometimes get a little bit nervous or overwhelmed because it’s ‘The Street’ – it’s a national treasure. But in Romania, we were on their patch, and they work loads because there are so many movies being made there. They were giving me notes! One guy I was having a drinking competition with on screen was saying ‘I think you should drink like this’ and I love that! When we doing the karaoke they were singing and dancing away with us in the audience and being really supportive, which is what we needed. That was probably one of my top ten worse moments filming! I’ve had loads of jobs where I’ve had to sing but we all thought there would be a karaoke screen with the words. There was no screen and no-one helping us with the moves – I was on YouTube the night before trying to find the original dance! I couldn’t watch it in Romania for some reason and so we had to learn from the Muriel’s Wedding version!
Did you miss your on screen husband, Simon Gregson?
Simon said to me ‘do you think if I wasn’t on paternity leave I’d have been in it?’ and I said ‘I’m sure you would have been Simon’…he did feel a bit left out! All of his buddies from the crew were out in Romania and we kept sending him teasing text messages saying ‘we’re all sat by the pool’ while he was at home changing nappies! I think Simon was probably glad to have a break from me though! I’m hoping one day they might do a spin off with Becky and Steve if we’re lucky…
What do you think Coronation Street fans will love most about Romanian Holiday?
It’s more of Corrie – it’s not trying to be anything else. There are no great ridiculous revelations about Hayley and Roy – it really honours who those two are and explores that relationship more. If you like Coronation Street and you like Hayley and Roy, then this is the perfect film for you. It was also written especially for John Henshaw and Siobhan Finneran, who I love in everything they do. Those (Glen and Verity) are two characters who would be perfect in Coronation Street!
It’s also a good mixture of the old and new Coronation Street: two of the longest running characters with a new character and two new brand new non-Corrie characters, not to mention that it’s two of the funniest characters in Corrie meeting two of the funniest actors out there at the moment.